Ben Rose is a wet shaving enthusiast, manscaping aficionado, and the man behind Prim & Prep, a men's grooming blog.
In this interview, he shares the story behind his blog, the single biggest grooming mistake guys make, grooming tips, and even his own morning grooming routine.
What is your back story, and what motivated you to launch Prim & Prep?
Approximately 10 years ago, I found this old Gillette adjustable safety razor in my dad's garage. At that time I had never heard of safety razors or wet shaving.
I began doing research on wet shaving in general, and before you knew it, I was cleaning the dust off the safety razor and ordering some brand-new blades, shaving cream and a brush.
Just like any passion, I really got into the shaving products, so I just started trying them all. I naturally progressed into exploring other facets of male grooming and started to meet people in person as well as online with similar interests. I built relationships with these people who had varying topics of expertise within male grooming including beards, head shaving, manscaping, etc.
I eventually came to the conclusion that we should make a website where we can provide all our valuable expertise about male grooming into one convenient site that is easy and fun to read. And that is how Prim & Prep was born.
How would you describe Prim & Prep, and how is it different than the other men's grooming blogs out there?
Prim & Prep definitely has a strong emphasis on wet shaving. We try to make the information we provide to our visitors fun and easy to digest. That is why we use a lot of infographics as well as a YouTube channel.
I also believe our review process is better than most. We try to break down the product into individual components that we can quantitatively rate so people can better analyze the options and choose the best product for their particular needs. The end result is a much more helpful review for our visitors.
We also have a strong emphasis on natural and organic products compared to other grooming blogs. We always discuss and rate the type and quality of ingredients used with the products we review. We truly believe natural ingredients provide the best results and regulatory agencies of the US are behind those of Europe in terms of banning potentially unhealthy chemicals within our grooming products.
We strive to keep our readers informed about which products are good for you and which could be potentially harmful to your skin and even possibly your health.
Why do you think men's grooming is becoming so popular?
I believe that the overall desire for health and wellness is becoming more important for people.
Looking at the big picture, the consumption of synthetic chemical products, junk food, cigarettes and alcohol is relatively new for the human race. We are just starting to realize how bad these products are for our bodies and we are taking action.
People are starting to focus more on healthy organic eating, getting regular exercise as well as watching what we put in and on our bodies. This directly influences the male grooming industry as these people want to look and feel good.
One way to look and feel good is to develop a good grooming routine as well as use natural products that are healthy for your body. The move from aerosol shaving cream to using a safety razor with organic shaving soaps and creams is on the rise!
What do you think is the single biggest grooming mistake guys make?
Since my website is largely influenced by wet shaving, I'll have to go with “using a five blade cartridge razor with shaving cream that is made of chemicals” as the biggest male grooming mistake.
This mistake is widespread due to the large budget marketing campaigns of the major cartridge razor companies.
Wet shaving may be on the rise but it still makes up only a small fraction of all the men that shave in the world. We hope to help change this.
What are a few of your best grooming tips?
Besides the fact that people should start shaving with a safety razor and using natural soaps and creams, I think another major grooming tip that can be one of the most beneficial, but is commonly overlooked, is a general change in lifestyle habits.
Male grooming is all about shaving, trimming and styling your hair as well as making your skin look great and the number one factor that will make your skin look great is exercising (and sweating a lot) regularly, eating clean unprocessed foods (lots of veggies) and drinking a lot of water.Doing those three things on a consistent basis will make your skin and hair look amazing.
Using the right products is very important in looking and feeling your best, but it’s essential not to forget the basic foundation of looking and feeling good which is a healthy lifestyle.
What does your daily grooming routine look like?
I usually wake up and shower first thing. I wash my face with a natural face wash and occasionally a face scrub to exfoliate my skin. After my shower, I begin my wet shaving routine while the hairs are still damp as this is when my hair is the softest and easiest to shave.
I use my pre-soaked shaving brush to work up a solid shaving lather in my bowl in which I then apply to my face. I use the triple pass method. I shave with the grain (WTG), across the grain (XTG), and against the grain (ATG). My shaving routine does take a little more time but I have found to really enjoy my shaving routine. It’s almost therapeutic in a way and really gets me in the right state of mind to start my day.
After my shave, I typically use some form of aftershave balm to keep my face from drying out.
Then I style my hair before getting dressed.
As I mentioned above, diet and exercise are just as important. I go to the gym to lift weights do some form of cardio for 20 minutes or until I am drenched in sweat. I also try to eat six meals a day with at least three meals containing a lot of fruits and vegetables.
The last thing that I try to do is drink a gallon of water a day! This helps flush out all the toxins, but I do have to admit I end up having to go to the bathroom every half-hour or so hahaha.
I won’t go into detail about my bodily grooming routine, but I usually perform these activities once a week.
What are the most common questions you get asked?
Although a large portion of our website is dedicated to wet shaving, one of the most common questions that we get asked is about facial hair styling.
A lot of people are wondering what type of facial hair styling (beards, goatees, mustaches, etc.) are the best fit for their facial features, particular head shape, etc.
What are a few of your top resources for guys from your site?
As we are big proponents of getting people to make the leap into traditional wet shaving with a safety razor, I would definitely say our beginner’s guide to wet shaving infographic is a great resource as it details all the benefits of traditional wet shaving and what you need to get started.
Additionally, I would pair that with our article on the top safety razors which breaks down what you need to consider when choosing a safety razor and segregates the best safety razors by price range so a beginner or more experienced wet shaver can find a great razor that fits their budget.
Step Up Your Grooming Game
A big 'thank you' to Ben for the interview!
In addition to the interview, Ben also helped curate the Prim & Prep bundle of grooming products - which consists of Brickell Purifying Charcoal Face Wash, Brickell Renewing Face Scrub, Brooklyn Grooming Anchor After Shave, and Portland General Store Racer Natural Shave Cream.
To find out more about the bundle, click on the image below.